Community Media: Selected Clippings – 02/07/07

State would regulate cable industry: A Senate bill would make the state the sole authority for franchising cable.
by Gavin Off

JEFFERSON CITY — Senators began debating a bill Tuesday that would give the state virtually sole power to regulate Missouri’s cable television industry. The bill, proposed by Sen. John Griesheimer, R-Washington, would make the state the only franchising authority for cable television service. No longer would cable television providers be tied to contracts with individual municipalities. And no longer would individual municipalities be tied to one cable company. —>


Channel Shuffle – Access and egress
WOWT-News, Omaha

The Cox Cable line-up might be getting trimmed down and the proposed change is causing static for those who produce public access television. That word came as broadcasting students at UNO prepared for their first live news show of the semester. Maureen Kaufman is one of those students and that news program she’s working on provides her with a real education. “I think it’s an amazing experience,” she said. “It’s a lot of learning and working.”

Cox Cable wants the city to revise its contract. Part of that revision would involve consolidating six public access channels down to three. UNO and other local educational institutions use two of the channels for their programs. The Knowledge Network’s Debbi Aliano says this is where their students get their training and she says, “it’s critically important to retain the channels.”

A spokesperson for Cox says very few customers watch public access. A recent survey shows only one-percent of viewers actually watch public access on regular basis and 90 percent never watch at all. Cox also says that Omaha has more public access channels than other cities its size. But Aliano sees that more as an asset than an overload. She says, “It’s something that makes Omaha unique that we have these locally produced TV programs.”

Omaha City Councilman Jim Suttle says those channels don’t have a lot of local programming and that’s why he’s proposing the cut. Suttle says, “There are thousands and thousands of citizens who want more programming on sports or on news — on entertainment of all kinds. We still have need for minority points of views to be heard but the medium to use is the Internet.” Councilman Suttle says he wants to preserve the educational channels used by schools like UNO but even with his support there’s no guarantee the channel will stay on Cox’s cable line-up. On Monday, the Cable Television Advisory Committee will meet to discuss the issue. It could go before the city council within a month.


“Left in Lowell” Blog (comments)

Felicia Says:
First a disclaimer, I used to work for LTC.

I agree that having access to more of city council proceedings is a good thing. And that timely posting of meetings should occur. However, I caution folks who support a plan to put more cable franchise funding in the hands of the local municipality. While it would provide for more resources to cover meetings, it would ultimately put speech within the control of the local government.

Like many communities, Lowell’s public / community channel is put in the hands of a non-profit entitiy precisely so the greatess possibility for free and open dialogue can happen. In general, a show like the one detailed airing on Friday night is not the norm. Rather hours of important porgramming for non-English speakers in our community, public affairs, and community interest are. Channels like these are some of the last places in any mainstream media where an average citizen can speak their peace however small, large, important or not. The closing down of such spaces is often done in the name of protecting the community, the children, security, and a number of other heart wrenching pleas.

Robert Haigh Says:
Hello folks

When I went looking for balanced viewpoints from last night’s sub-committee meeting, this forum was my first stop. Thanks to all of you for providing a reflection of the community’s stance on the issue now in the news.

First..apologies for the last month of streaming gov’t meetings which have been unavailable at We had a transition of software and IT personnel around that time and even as we speak we are working OT to get those meetings back on the website. I have a belief that last night’s subcommittee and/or City Council mtg will be up and running by tonight. Although this program seems to have created a media frenzy, it has also provided LTC an opportunity to educate our City officials and viewership to some of the delicate issues our community media outlets face regularly. By streaming the meeting and by meeting with officials we have an attentive ear to how Community Standards and Free Speech come together….or sometimes clash together.

Sadly, the Boston Media pool has chosen to sensationalize a story for the emotional consumer, rather than explore the free speech aspects to which they too, may at times face. Interestingly, channel 7, normally a highly sensational outlet, has provided perhaps the most balanced coverage….also interesting to note that the reporter for Ch 7, Steve Cooper, got his start right here in Lowell doing the nightly newscasts as anchor for Lowell Cable News. —>


Beth’s Blog (Beth Kantor)
It is difficult to let go of the old ways … from powerpoint to wikitation

I have to prepare for a presentation at the Integrated Media Conference (public broadcasting) at the end of the month called “Lessons Beyond the Field.”

The description is: “Public broadcasting isn’t the only industry that’s exploring the role of social media in their work. Community groups, nonprofits and other entities are embracing Web 2.0 at an amazing pace, and some of their experiences can serve as valuable lessons for what we may want to develop as well. In this session, we’ll focus on three sectors: nonprofit groups, public access television and community-oriented citizen journalism.” —>


compiled by
Rob McCausland
Director of Information & Organizing Services
Alliance for Community Media

Explore posts in the same categories: cable vs telco, PEG access TV, public access television, video franchising

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